Transcript of the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

OHR, Oleg Milisic

ICTY, Matias Hellman

EUFOR, Achim Winkler

 

 

OHR

HR Announces Measures Aimed At Seeing Government Formed In The HN Canton


Ten days ago, the High Representative Christian Schwarz-Schilling sent a letter to the political parties represented in the Central Bosnia and Herzegovina-Neretva Cantons assemblies, urging them to begin the process of government formation, and to submit the names of their ministerial candidates by 18 May.


Though the parties in Central Bosnia Canton Assembly have complied with this deadline, the parties in Herzegovina-Neretva Canton continue to put their political interests ahead of the public interest and have, so far, made no substantial progress towards forming a new government. Seven months after the elections this is a shameful waste of time and betrayal of voter’s confidence.


In his letter the High Representative warned that if the deadline passed with no visible progress he would engage in this issue; the time has now come to do that.


The High Representative has decided to introduce measures that will incrementally become more and more painful for the individuals and political parties involved.


The OHR’s first step today is to publicly name and shame those responsible for the current state of affairs. 


The core dispute in Herzegovina-Neretva Canton is the position of the Prime Minister, which is being fought over by the two major Croat parties, who are supported by the two Bosniak-dominated parties. Neither side will give in, even at the price of the Canton slowly disintegrating. In October voters didn’t go to the ballot box because they wanted to see a fight over armchairs.


The HDZ BiH, HDZ 1990, SDA, and SBiH are all to blame to different degrees for the current situation in the canton.


The presidents and cantonal board presidents of the parties must be held responsible; HDZ BiH Cantonal Board President Rade Bošnjak, HDZ BiH President Dragan Ćović, SDA Cantonal Board President Salko Sokolović, SDA Party President Sulejman Tihić, HDZ 1990 Deputy Cantonal Board President Stjepan Krešić, HDZ 1990 President Božo Ljubić, SBiH Cantonal Board President Safet Omerović, and SBiH President Haris Silajdžić must take responsibility for the current situation.


The apathy displayed by the members of the Assembly presidency must also be noted; Ljubo Zovko, Ramiz Jelovac, and Snježana Milavić have a simple obligation to fulfil – they must decide amongst themselves which of them should be the Assembly Speaker. They have had ample time to make that decision but have failed to meet their responsibilities.


There is an opportunity now for those political parties and individuals to take responsibility and to show they understand that they have been elected to serve the public not personal interest.


However, if there is no result by Tuesday 29 May, a further set of measures will come into force. This will continue until this matter is resolved. These measures will be painful and become increasingly more painful for individuals and parties alike the longer there is no newly elected Government in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton.


 

ICTY


Good morning on behalf of the ICTY.


As you’ve probably seen already, the Referral Bench issued an order last week suspending the transfer of Sredoje Lukić to Bosnia and Herzegovina until the Decision on referral of the case has become final with regard to both accused. On 14 May, Prosecution filed a Response to Milan Lukić’s appeal brief, and on 17 May Milan Lukić filed a Reply to the Response. This completes the filings in the appeal proceedings. You can request copies of all these documents from my office.


On 18 May, the Defence of Enver Hadžihasanović filed public versions of the Defence Appeal Brief and the Reply to the Prosecution’s Response Brief.


At yesterday’s status conference in the case of Rasim Delić the Prosecution said they would be ready to start the trial between 5 and 10 July, to which the Defence did not object. The Trial Chamber has not set a date for the trial yet.


Tomorrow at 15:30 a status conference will be held in the case of Vojislav Šešelj.


And one more thing – I have a few copies of the latest revised Info sheet on Partnership and Transition between the ICTY and National Courts.


Thank you for your attention.


 


EUFOR


General Sir John Reith visits Sarajevo


The EU Operation Commander for the Operation ALTHEA (EUFOR in BiH), General Sir John Reith, is going to visit the EUFOR HQ in Camp Butmir for routine purposes 24 to 25 May 2007. On that occasion he will be informed about the current situation and the progress of the new multinational battalion and he will also meet with the High Representative / EU Special Representative Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling for an update on the situation in BiH. 


The multinational battalion, based in Camp Butmir, this week will carry out a major exercise with emphasis on deployment, but also including live firings and other training highlights. The exercise will take place in the vicinity of Banja Luka from 22 to 25 May 2007.


Additional information


This unit will receive its battalion banner from the hands of COM EUFOR, Rear Admiral Hans-Jochen Witthauer on Monday 28 May 2007. This will be announced to the media separately later this week.